“The Art of Wrestling” with Colt Cabana
Howl Presents Colt Cabana’s Pro Wrestling Fringe
Release Date: February 11, 2016
Report by Chris Davidson
– Colt Cabana chronicles the rise and fall of Tom Magee.
– Colt Cabana previews new Howl.fm podcast series “Pro Wrestling Fringe.”
0:00 – Introduction
3:41 – Pro Wrestling Fringe Intro
5:14 – Hand Picked Episode Intro
6:35 – Who is Tom Magee?
11:55 – Tom Magee’s downfall
13:43 – Dave Meltzer weighs in
19:31 – Colt wraps up Pro Wrestling Fringe
21:07 – Bonus Clip
0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show noting that this week’s episode will be different because he will be playing a part of his produced wrestling podcast now available on the Howl podcasting app. Colt discussed the one-on-one style of podcast that was very popular when he started the Art of Wrestling, but he also enjoys “produced” podcasts such as those produced by Gimlet, Radiotopia, and NPR. Colt said that if there is a wrestling version of this type of podcast, he hasn’t found it. So to stay ahead of the trend, he has partnered with Howl to put out this style of podcast in a “Netflix style” handful of episodes at a time release. Colt credited Radiolab’s recent podcast on the Montreal Screwjob as an example of a nicely produced podcast. Colt urged listeners to go to howl.fm and use his code “Colt” to show the “Hollywood podcasting world” the reach the wrestling community can get. The episode Colt is playing was written by him, and he talked about wanting to put together as many of these as he can to help “cool people” get paid. With that, Colt kicked it to The Pro Wrestling Fringe podcast.
3:41 – Pro Wrestling Fringe Intro – The Pro Wrestling Fringe opened with Colt introducing himself to new listeners who may be discovering this podcast via Howl, discussing various bizarre places he has wrestled over the years, and stating that Pro Wrestling Fringe will focus on unique stories from a unique genre. Colt introduced this first story as “Hand Picked” and mentioned he interviewed Dave Meltzer to help tell the story.
5:14 – Hand Picked Episode Intro – Colt began the episode discussing “muscle men” in pro wrestling, such as Hulk Hogan and John Cena. Colt mentioned that even if you don’t know anything about pro wrestling, you likely at least know about these titans who become world famous. Colt said that this episode isn’t about any of those guys, but “the chosen one who didn’t quite make the cut,” Tom Magee. “Who? Exactly.”
6:35 – Who is Tom Magee? – Colt opened his discussion of Tom Magee by comparing him to Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Magee was the total package: a gymnast, bodybuilder, and black belt who stood 6’5” and 270 lbs. Colt also discussed his weightlifting prowess and handsome looks that were almost mocking Hulk Hogan’s “neon skull”. Colt claimed Magee was Vince McMahon’s next hero to take on the world, and covered even more of his credentials as a wrestler, including his first tryout match in WWF on October 7, 1986.
Colt claimed Bret Hart, who Magee’s tryout was with, was the key to Magee’s whole story and said that he does not believe video of this match exists, as he tried to obtain it while in WWE, but was never granted it. Bret Hart asked Magee what three things Magee did well and crafted a match around them, while putting over Magee and exciting Vince McMahon. Magee was slated to be “Mega Man,” the next big thing in the company.
11:55 – Tom Magee’s downfall – In 1987, Magee went on the road and kept a low-profile while getting experience in a WWF ring. Colt brought up Bret Hart making Magee look “like a million bucks” as why he succeeded, but was now struggling against wrestlers who were not the athlete or in-ring psychologist that Hart was. Magee’s three things he could do well were ignored and he was criticized for feminine movement, lack of realism, and lack of crispness that sets good wrestlers and bad wrestlers apart. Magee was with WWF until 1989, and even wrestled Arn Anderson on TV, but was unable to recapture the magic of the Bret Hart match.
13:43 – Dave Meltzer weighs in – Colt introduced a phone interview with Tom Magee, asking when Magee first came on Meltzer’s radar. Meltzer heard about Magee when he was in Japan and heard about the Magee-Hart match from the Rochester newspaper. Meltzer said that everyone thought he would be the next big thing since he was a better athlete and better looking than Hulk Hogan. Meltzer said they put Magee on C-level shows to hide him from the big cities, which did not work for Magee, but worked a few years later for Ultimate Warrior. Meltzer remembered being disappointed seeing Magee in a match with Terry Gibbs, shortly before everyone realized Magee was no longer going to be “the guy.”
Colt asked Meltzer if the legend of the Magee-Hart match due to lack of video is why Magee has become a “fun tale” in wrestling. Meltzer has seen the match and claimed it lived up to the hype and that Magee looked really good as a big man doing dropkicks and flips. Meltzer also talked about seeing him in the ring later and seeing that he’s terrible. Colt pointed out that, as much as this is a story about Magee, it’s also about how great Bret Hart is as a wrestler. Meltzer ended his phone call by saying that everyone thought they were seeing the guy to replace Hulk Hogan, when in reality, the other guy in the ring should have replaced Hogan. Colt plugged Meltzer’s radio show, newsletter, website and social media.
19:31 – Colt wraps up Pro Wrestling Fringe – Colt plugged his theme music composer, the Art of Wrestling podcast, his website and merch site, his sponsor (Prowrestlingtees.com), as well as other shows on Howl, including his audio documentary on the Gathering of the Juggalos, and signed off.
21:07 – Bonus Clip – Colt played a short clip of Tom Magee being praised for having a body that looks like someone “chiseled out Magee.”
OVERALL SCORE & REVIEW
8.5: While not a typical episode of the Art of Wrestling by any stretch, this week’s episode was a very entertaining listen. The production values, including background music, were very good, and the flow from segment to segment was reminiscent of non-wrestling podcasts such as Serial and Mystery Show. After years of listening to Colt’s laid back, natural delivery, hearing him in a more rehearsed style was a bit of a distraction, as the way this episode was presented was so close to those other podcast’s presentation. Nonetheless, this episode sounded great from beginning to end, and I look forward to hearing more Pro Wrestling Fringe podcasts via Howl. At the beginning of this episode, I was unfamiliar with Tom Magee and this was a very entertaining and fascinating look at his short time in WWF, which I would highly recommend.